Holy Trinity, Vauxhall to contest Insports Challenge Cup final
Holy Trinity High and Vauxhall High are set to contest the final of the Insports Preseason Challenge Cup after both registered 1-0 scorelines over St Catherine High and Hydel High in their respective semi-final encounters at Owen Palmer Community Centre on Saturday.
The win by Holy Trinity ended the two-year reign of St Catherine High as champions, while Vauxhall High will be priding themselves on the fact that they bettered Walker Cup champions Hydel High.
St Catherine will be cursing their luck as they dominated the early exchanges against Holy Trinity in their own back yard, but were unable to make the advantage count in the first half.
An even second half turned the way of Holy Trinity with the introduction of Shian Hanson at centre forward, and the pacey player consistently went at the St Catherine defenders before eventually firing his team ahead in the 78th minute after turning his marker nicely.
St Catherine thought they had an opportunity to level, but their appeal for a penalty late in the game was ignored by the referee.
Everton Russell, Holy Trinity’s assistant coach, was pleased with the performance of his boys, pointing out that the intention has always been to go all the way in the competition despite it being a preseason event.
“We executed quite well; they went out there and played with heart, determination, all that you could ask for. They executed and we came away with the victory.
“Any competition we go into, we go in to win. St Catherine just happened to be the team we meet in the semi-final today (Saturday) and we just executed,” said Russell.
Meanwhile, Vauxhall produced a tactically disciplined performance to get the better of Hydel through a stylish finish from Sylvester Douglas, who fired past Shaquan Davis at the back post in the 13th minute.
The rest of the contest was fairly even, as Vauxhall refused to be broken down by the determined Hydel team.
Vauxhall came within inches of doubling their advantage late in the game when Jevaun Shephard curled a free kick from approximately 23 yards out that came back off the crossbar.
Shortly after, Hydel were presented with a golden opportunity to draw level, but Deandre Walker fired a penalty kick against the crossbar.
Keon Broderick praised the tactical performance of his team against Hydel.
“We pride ourselves on being tactically disciplined, whether it’s in the attacking phase or defensive phase. When we went up 1-0, our purpose was to play behind the ball, play with a low block behind the Hydel team, and try to hit them on the counter-attack,” Broderick shared, before adding that more emphasis was placed on the competition as his team’s performance improved.
“Initially, we started out training in the mornings and playing the games in the evening and then the objective shifted when we saw that we could win this competition.”